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Norton Aerodrome


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Thanks again Bayleaf, I will have to try and get a copy of that book, sounds like there's a lot of interesting stuff in it.

Sheffield could have had a civilian airport, at Norton, from the 1920's. What a loss!

Unfortunately the book's been out of print for some time, though there are copies in the libraries.

In fact I lent my copy to someone and never got it back, so I'm in the market myself!

Actually I know Stephen, and if enough people were interested in a copy I'll have a go at persuading him to have it reprinted.

If anyone's interested could they let me know?

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Well - It seems there were 2 Spitfires "F22 PK724" & "LF16 TB308" and a Vampire "F1 VF281" at Norton. I've found some chat between Plane buffs. Most of it seems to be about serial numbers and stuf

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Waterside Echo

According to my mom (young teenager during the war) The Spitfire arrived a few years after the war ended and was there for many years, but she can't remember when it went. I suppose the plane was just put there as a symbol of the place's military status. Much as there are other examples of military hardware dotted around military establishments to this day. Mom remembers that, for some years after the war the talk was that "something secret was going on there". Probably just because the place remained well manned even though it no longer functioned as a barrage balloon base.

Another relative remembers the plane. She lived close by in the mid 50's.

Dave H - As for the new buildings erected when it became the driver training ctr.

I'm pretty sure nothing was added. They just made use of what was there already.

(Sorry I don't seem to be able to fathom the quote function.)

My brother-in-law was stationed at Norton in the early 60s. When his service was up he went on to be a Boffin for Marconi. Could be some truth in "something secret" as all he would tell me at the time was that he just tinkered about with radar all day. I will not be in contact with him for a while but when I am I will try and get some more info.

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Guest bus man

Afternoon everybody

Just thought I would let everyone on this thread know what the current situation is regarding this site.

The information contained in this post comes from various meetings and documents that are in the public domain to the best of my knowledge the information is correct

Around 3 years ago the sites owner ship was passed from the NHS (see below) to the English Partnerships which was at that time a John Prescott quango, the intention is to use the site for housing , however , there are number of problems

Part of the site is green belt (there is I understand a dispute as to how much of it is green belt)

Any buildings on the site can only be on the same site and the same volume as those buildings that are currently on the site

    Local residents are very vocal about what will happen:
  • Some want it left
  • Some demand the eye sore is removed
  • Some want it left as open partly managed space
  • Some want a proper park
  • Some are absolutely against a park or any open space but demand that they can still walk there dog's on the site and THEIR children can play on it

Parts of the sites are "Brownfield " i.e. before any work can be done they need to be cleaned due to contamination - from the fuel tanks and other things .

One myth which does occur is that people claim it can’t be built on because part of the site is in Derbyshire and that Sheffield/ Derbyshire councils can’t agree what can be built

THIS IS NOT TRUE the entire site is in South Yorkshire and is for planning purposes under Sheffield MDC - the boundary did run through the site but this was moved in the late '1960s (Some of you may remember that when oakes park had hunt balls etc the boundary ran through the marquee there was a bar at each end one shut earlier than the other as one was Derbyshire and one was Sheffield )

NHS ownership as stated above the site was owned by the NHS at one time there had been an intention to use the site for a hospital to take the pressure off the Hallamshire and Northern General, Lodge Moor and Chesterfield Hospitals and provide a hospital near the (then proposed) new townships of mosborough/ westfield etc.

Sorry that this is perhaps too modern for some of you but I thought I may be relevant, one thing not mentioned is that after the site was closed for RAF purposed parts of the hangers were used for restoring old buses (cars have already been mentioned) some of these buses still exist

Hope the above information is of interest

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Well - It seems there were 2 Spitfires "F22 PK724" & "LF16 TB308" and a Vampire "F1 VF281" at Norton. I've found some chat between Plane buffs. Most of it seems to be about serial numbers and stuff. The general gist (I think) is that one or more may have been used in a film - High Flight (1958). and that they seem to have been moved around, re-painted etc. quite a few times over the years.

Here's another photo. This is one of them after it left Norton.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b202/aer...on-BOB-Sept.jpg

Oh no - now it gets worse.

I've just been reading on another aeroplane chat forum. It seems there was a mystery spitfire in the afore mentioned film, which could also have been one of the Norton "Spits" (Getting the terminology now) The main filming was done at Cranwell in Lincolnshire but it seems that one of the hangars at Norton may have been used for some of the scenes in the film.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mar...ht-02-002-1.jpg

Still ploughing through serial numbers and all sorts of technical stuff trying to make some sense. I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. -

Anyway suffice it to say that "yes there was a Spitfire on the gate at Norton in the 50's." and also a Vampire which I think I remember, but this may be just due to now knowing that it was there.

The gate, now blocked by the way, being the main entrance, which at the time was on Norton Lane in the middle of the site where there is now a vehicle pull in. Not the side entrance later used by Driver Training.

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Afternoon everybody

Just thought I would let everyone on this thread know what the current situation is regarding this site.

The information contained in this post comes from various meetings and documents that are in the public domain to the best of my knowledge the information is correct

Around 3 years ago the sites owner ship was passed from the NHS (see below) to the English Partnerships which was at that time a John Prescott quango, the intention is to use the site for housing , however , there are number of problems

Part of the site is green belt (there is I understand a dispute as to how much of it is green belt)

Any buildings on the site can only be on the same site and the same volume as those buildings that are currently on the site

    Local residents are very vocal about what will happen:
  • Some want it left
  • Some demand the eye sore is removed
  • Some want it left as open partly managed space
  • Some want a proper park
  • Some are absolutely against a park or any open space but demand that they can still walk there dog's on the site and THEIR children can play on it

Parts of the sites are "Brownfield " i.e. before any work can be done they need to be cleaned due to contamination - from the fuel tanks and other things .

One myth which does occur is that people claim it can’t be built on because part of the site is in Derbyshire and that Sheffield/ Derbyshire councils can’t agree what can be built

THIS IS NOT TRUE the entire site is in South Yorkshire and is for planning purposes under Sheffield MDC - the boundary did run through the site but this was moved in the late '1960s (Some of you may remember that when oakes park had hunt balls etc the boundary ran through the marquee there was a bar at each end one shut earlier than the other as one was Derbyshire and one was Sheffield )

NHS ownership as stated above the site was owned by the NHS at one time there had been an intention to use the site for a hospital to take the pressure off the Hallamshire and Northern General, Lodge Moor and Chesterfield Hospitals and provide a hospital near the (then proposed) new townships of mosborough/ westfield etc.

Sorry that this is perhaps too modern for some of you but I thought I may be relevant, one thing not mentioned is that after the site was closed for RAF purposed parts of the hangers were used for restoring old buses (cars have already been mentioned) some of these buses still exist

Hope the above information is of interest

This may be modern bus man but it is extremely interesting.

As I live fairly close to the site and drive past it almost every day I certainlt would like to know what the future of the site is likely to be as well as its past history. I don't quite live close enough to actually be given a choice of options for local people and I certainly have not come across any of this before.

Given the list of options I would probably go with the first one, - leave it as it is.

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Well - It seems there were 2 Spitfires "F22 PK724" & "LF16 TB308" and a Vampire "F1 VF281" at Norton. I've found some chat between Plane buffs. Most of it seems to be about serial numbers and stuff. The general gist (I think) is that one or more may have been used in a film - High Flight (1958). and that they seem to have been moved around, re-painted etc. quite a few times over the years.

Here's another photo. This is one of them after it left Norton.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b202/aer...on-BOB-Sept.jpg

Oh no - now it gets worse.

I've just been reading on another aeroplane chat forum. It seems there was a mystery spitfire in the afore mentioned film, which could also have been one of the Norton "Spits" (Getting the terminology now) The main filming was done at Cranwell in Lincolnshire but it seems that one of the hangars at Norton may have been used for some of the scenes in the film.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mar...ht-02-002-1.jpg

Still ploughing through serial numbers and all sorts of technical stuff trying to make some sense. I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. -

Anyway suffice it to say that "yes there was a Spitfire on the gate at Norton in the 50's." and also a Vampire which I think I remember, but this may be just due to now knowing that it was there.

The gate, now blocked by the way, being the main entrance, which at the time was on Norton Lane in the middle of the site where there is now a vehicle pull in. Not the side entrance later used by Driver Training.

Although I can't remember a Spitfire, either the original one in your first picture post or the more recent one in the quoted post which appears to be one of the later Mk. Spits with the bubble type canopy, a Vampire seems to ring a bell.

In the 1950's there were a whole range of RAF aircraft that began with V, - Vampire, Venom, Victor and Vulcan and even though these were all very different aircraft I still tend to get them all mixed up, but I do remember passing the airfield and seeing an aircraft in the gateway and being told by an older relative who was with me that it was a V??????? (an aircraft with a name beginning with V), so I assume this was our Vampire then.

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Asking around the family I found that -

As a young girl, one of my cousins was a member of RAF Norton choral society . The family went to an open day at the Aerodrome where her younger brother was treated to a "sit" in the Spitfire with a leather flying helmet on.

1/- a go apparently.

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Guest Trefcon

'Norton in Wartime' found at Local Studies has loads of info, aerial photo's and references to loads of stuff at Sheffield Archives, sale plans etc.

Dean.

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Here we go then, this is about as near as I can get to a then and now, not sure of the exact position along Norton Avenue.

Then is Oct. 1971, Now is Jan 2009

Also posted into "Then & Now" discussion topic for eventual consideration for the Showcase.

The building shown in the 2009 picture ( note the windows have been bricked up) was I believe used by the Western Park Hospital as a storage facility when the building of Western Park was delayed. Equipment had been ordered and was ready for delivery but the hospital was not ready. The equipment was therefore stored at Norton which was owned by the NHS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The building shown in the 2009 picture ( note the windows have been bricked up) was I believe used by the Western Park Hospital as a storage facility when the building of Western Park was delayed. Equipment had been ordered and was ready for delivery but the hospital was not ready. The equipment was therefore stored at Norton which was owned by the NHS.

Unfortunately, as stated in post #14, although both shots show the aerodrome site from Norton Avenue I can no longer with the passage of time and the demolition of some of the original buildings say that both pictures are from the same viewpoint along the road frontage of the site.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Oswald

I am doing a bit of research on this site, from an archaeological point of view. I dont want to mention too much now as i've not got into detail yet, but I do have access via the University to older OS maps. I can tell you that the large "hanger" type building in the centre, which appears on Google maps aerial image and the curent OS maps, does appear on maps from 1938-50 series and every single map inbetween (except in the late 50's when it is blank. I assume this is for security reasons during the Cold War). It has to be an original building. With that in mind it could be interesting from a Heritage point of view, if anything were to be developed in the area.

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Guest nortonfacts

I was stationed at RAF Norton from 1959 to 1960. I recently wondered what had happened to the station after I had left and looked on Google. I quickly discovered that entering RAF Norton in the search box brought forth very many entries for RAF Brize Norton, and a few for the other three “Nortons”. One other “Norton” was RAF Norton Disney in Lincolnshire, one was RAF Norton Woodseats and one was RAF Norton.

Information concerning RAF Norton is very slight and I have therefore decided to put together a non-commercial (probably means stapled together) document including as much history as I can gather on the station.

To clear up one point first, RAF Norton (just beyond Gleadless and reaching as far as Lightwood Lane) was not an airfield and it had no runway. There were annual air shows in the 1950s/60s but all the fixed wing aircraft participating simply flew over. I do remember, however, that helicopters landed on the station during the shows. RAF Norton Woodseats, about which I know very little (except that it keeps confusing the RAF Norton story!) was, I believe, further out into Derbyshire and it was an airfield. However, it was closed (I believe) before I arrived at RAF Norton and therefore I don’t believe I even heard of it at the time.

I am busy gathering information from various sources and you will see soon, if it hasn’t appeared already, in the Sheffield Daily Star’s Diary column, an article concerning the beginning of my project. I hope to maybe hear from other people their memories of the station.

I would be grateful if those who have posted photos on this forum would be kind enough to give me authority to use them. Obviously I will acknowledge the source and will send each contributor a copy of the finished item. This will undoubtedly take me several (many?) months and I will try not to drop off the perch before it is finished!!.

I am tempted to avoid the question of the gate guardian aircraft but to do so would leave a gap in my document so I will see what I can find out.

Meanwhile I would be very grateful for any other information which readers of this entry might have unearthed since they last contributed. My e-mail site for this project is

[email protected] I am particularly keen to obtain a copy of the RAF Norton site plan which, until quite recently, was posted on the internet by the Gleadless Historical Society. However, just as I want it, it has disappeared just as the society itself appears to have disappeared from the internet. If anyone has a copy or can run it down for me I would be most grateful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Derek Read

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I was stationed at RAF Norton from 1959 to 1960. I recently wondered what had happened to the station after I had left and looked on Google. I quickly discovered that entering RAF Norton in the search box brought forth very many entries for RAF Brize Norton, and a few for the other three “Nortons”. One other “Norton” was RAF Norton Disney in Lincolnshire, one was RAF Norton Woodseats and one was RAF Norton.

Information concerning RAF Norton is very slight and I have therefore decided to put together a non-commercial (probably means stapled together) document including as much history as I can gather on the station.

To clear up one point first, RAF Norton (just beyond Gleadless and reaching as far as Lightwood Lane) was not an airfield and it had no runway. There were annual air shows in the 1950s/60s but all the fixed wing aircraft participating simply flew over. I do remember, however, that helicopters landed on the station during the shows. RAF Norton Woodseats, about which I know very little (except that it keeps confusing the RAF Norton story!) was, I believe, further out into Derbyshire and it was an airfield. However, it was closed (I believe) before I arrived at RAF Norton and therefore I don’t believe I even heard of it at the time.

I am busy gathering information from various sources and you will see soon, if it hasn’t appeared already, in the Sheffield Daily Star’s Diary column, an article concerning the beginning of my project. I hope to maybe hear from other people their memories of the station.

I would be grateful if those who have posted photos on this forum would be kind enough to give me authority to use them. Obviously I will acknowledge the source and will send each contributor a copy of the finished item. This will undoubtedly take me several (many?) months and I will try not to drop off the perch before it is finished!!.

I am tempted to avoid the question of the gate guardian aircraft but to do so would leave a gap in my document so I will see what I can find out.

Meanwhile I would be very grateful for any other information which readers of this entry might have unearthed since they last contributed. My e-mail site for this project is

[email protected] I am particularly keen to obtain a copy of the RAF Norton site plan which, until quite recently, was posted on the internet by the Gleadless Historical Society. However, just as I want it, it has disappeared just as the society itself appears to have disappeared from the internet. If anyone has a copy or can run it down for me I would be most grateful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Derek Read

Thanks for this posting nortonfacts. I have sent you a personal email on the address given in this post and you have my permission to use any of my stuff in your publication. We are looking forward to seeing the finished project.

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Guest nortonfacts

Thanks for this posting nortonfacts. I have sent you a personal email on the address given in this post and you have my permission to use any of my stuff in your publication. We are looking forward to seeing the finished project.

I am afraid that I am not well versed in the operation of SheffieldnHistory so I will add two more facts here which might be of general help:

1. To find the site of RAF Norton go to Google maps, find Gleadless, then go to streets and you can travel South on Norton Avenue (as I did last week). On the left hand side of the road you will find the Main entrance to RAF Norton. It is now firmly closed with concrete blocks discouraging entrance! Further along is the central gate. At the end, where you can "turn left" on Google Street is Lightwood Lane. A further gate was here for access to the Officers' Mess. Travel down Lightwood Lane as far as Google goes and you can see the tops of the Officers' Married Quarters behind the trees (which weren't there in 1960).

2. Looking left on Google into a side road as I "entered" Lightwood Lane I saw some modern buildings which are referred to in earlier comments on this site. These have been built after station closed. This is (approximately) where the [email protected] Mess was and that was built of wood.

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Guest littlemalc

I was in the ATC in 1957, and we were drafted to Norton for the annual air show acting as stewards, I can confirm that a MK24 Spitfire was used as "Gate guardian" there, this was the last mark made with bubble cockpit and Griffon engine, I had the great delight of sitting in the cockpit.

This same machine is now on display at the RAF museum, Hendon, full details are posted on the Sheffield Forum site.

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I was in the ATC in 1957, and we were drafted to Norton for the annual air show acting as stewards, I can confirm that a MK24 Spitfire was used as "Gate guardian" there, this was the last mark made with bubble cockpit and Griffon engine, I had the great delight of sitting in the cockpit.

This same machine is now on display at the RAF museum, Hendon, full details are posted on the Sheffield Forum site.

Would that be with the 5 blade propellor as well?

I seem to remember that as the Spitfire developed the number of propellor blades increased sequentially from 2 on the prototype to 5 on the last Mk.

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  • 1 month later...
Waterside Echo

Here goes,

In February 1939 the RAF established an office at 641 Attercliffe Road and began enlisting men who undertook initial barrage balloon training in a factory on Bridge street.

The RAF then acquired a site at Lightwood, erected buildings, and in the summer of 1939 transferred from Attercliffe to what was called No 16 Balloon Centre at Lightwood.

Their role was to set up barrage balloon sites around Sheffield, prepare and supply equipment, carry out repairs, and train staff to operate the sites.

By the time war broke out, there were 3 squadrons ready for action, No 393 (WEST), No 940(ROTHERHAM), and No 941(CENTRAL). 941 was disbanded in April 1940 and staff transferred to the other 2. At full strength there were 72 balloons around Sheffield.

By 1943 the air threat to Sheffield had diminished, and most of the balloons were transferred to the defence of London. On the 1st July 1943 Lightwood was renamed RAF Norton. It was transferred to Signals Command and became No 3 Ground Radio Servicing Squadron.

This continued until 1965, when under an RAF reorganisation the Squadron was moved to Rutland. RAF Norton officially closed in January 1965.

(Information from Stephen Johnson's excellent book 'Bailey to Bailey, a short history of Military Buildings in Sheffield')

I thought this snippet might be of interest as it mentions Norton. W/E.

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I thought this snippet might be of interest as it mentions Norton. W/E.

Interesting collection of wartime flying accidents over Sheffield during the war.

Does anyone know anything about an aircraft which crashed at Frechville in the early / mid 1950's?

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Guest tsavo

Probably wrong but a vague memory says it was a Meteor jet that crashed. Somewhere on the land opposite Frechville centre and before Occupation Lane?

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Interesting collection of wartime flying accidents over Sheffield during the war.

Does anyone know anything about an aircraft which crashed at Frechville in the early / mid 1950's?

There was a post on Sheffield Forum a while ago about this one.

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Probably wrong but a vague memory says it was a Meteor jet that crashed. Somewhere on the land opposite Frechville centre and before Occupation Lane?

Possibly was a meteor, certainly a military aircraft of that era. As far as I know the crash was in the valley between what is now Silkstone Road and the top end of the Hackenthorpe estate. This would place it from Frechville between the petrol station and Occupation Lane on the Occupation Lane side of Birley Moor Road.

Sounds like the same crash Tsavo.

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There was a post on Sheffield Forum a while ago about this one.

OK thanks Bayleaf, i'll try to take a look through their posts for further information.

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OK thanks Bayleaf, i'll try to take a look through their posts for further information.

I'll save you a search Dave, it's Here

Best details by 'Wheaty' about 2/3 way down the first page.

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